Interview with Christian Vizl

The majority of humans see marine animals merely as tons of food, but I see them as so much more than that. They don´t have a voice that we can understand, so the higher purpose of my images is to be a voice of the ocean and for the ocean
Christian Vizl

Christian Vizl was born in México City and has been a photographer for over three decades. He has won dozens of international photography awards including Wildlife Photographer of the Year, International Photographer of the Year, Sony World Photography Awards and World Photographic Cup.

He has served as judge in several international underwater photography contests and his images have been published in numerous outlets including National Geographic and Ocean Geographic.[Official Website]

Christian Vizl

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

“Every since I was a kid, as far back as I can remember, I was attracted to the sea. I dreamt about what lay beneath the waves, and how would it look if suddenly all the water vanished, leaving in stasis all the animals and living creatures. In this way, I could walk inside the ocean and see them all, suspended for a moment in time and space.

I have devoted my life to exploring and contemplate the amazing beauty of the ocean and it has been an incredible journey that has brought me a deep feeling of connection with nature, but sadly during my lifetime I have witness the ever-increasing devastation that we humans are creating in this planet. Today the world’s Ocean is in grave danger. Overfishing, pollution, plastics, radiation, climate change, acidification and other human pressures threaten the fundamental nature of the ocean and it´s animals are being pushed to near extinction. The time to act and reverse our negative impact is now, before it´s too late risking loosing everything.

The majority of humans see marine animals merely as tons of food, but I see them as so much more than that. They don´t have a voice that we can understand, so the higher purpose of my images is to be a voice of the ocean and for the ocean, hoping that people can get a glimpse of who they really are, beautiful sentient individuals, with feelings and different personalities, with complex behaviors and interesting lives that science is only starting to understand

How did you get interested in photography?

I have loved photography since I was a teenager and was very inspired by photographers like David Doubilet, Ernie Brooks, Ansel Adams, Cartier-Bresson, etc. I believe Photography is capable of real service to humanity, promoting empathy and initiating change, so my main purpose as a photographer is to create poetic images showing the incredible beauty of these animals knowing they carry the power of changing our perception and spark the love and empathy that we all have inside. If we want to have a future in this planet, we need to understand that our lives are interconnected to all living animals, and our own well being is directly linked to the well being of these animals. As Dr. Sylvia Earl stated, “No blue no green, if the oceans die, we die”

Can you explain us the idea or the story behind this image? 

Mexico, Baja California, Sea of Cortez. I heard stories about the thousand of jacks swimming together at Cabo Pulmo, but nothing could have prepared me for actually entering the water and find this spectacular sight. I was really amazed! and for a time, I just float there and enjoyed them. So in this time a diver in my group was already at the bottom, some 60 feet below. I usually don’t put divers in my photos, but in this case I thought it would be important for scale, since he looked so tiny in front of this immense wall of fishes! So I took the shot…

What, in your opinion, is most important to consider while shooting aquatic pho- tographs?

Definitely to be completely respectful of all the animals and ecosystems, no image is worth if taken while harassing an animal or destroying their environment. We must keep in mind that we are entering their home and we are only temporary guests.

What has been the hardest part of this image? 

Knowing that all the life that you see in it is at a very serious risk of disappearing forever due to human unconsciousness and greed and that if we continue on this path I will witness this devastation in my lifetime.

All About Photo Awards 2019 | Second Place | Christian Vizl | Mexico

How would you define your general style photography?

A strong and very high contrast black and white style, capturing a range of undersea scenes and moods -from the ferocity of sharks to the playful dance of dolphins- I aim to turn aquatic creatures and marine seascapes into visions of sublime grace and beauty suspended in time and space. 

Could you please tell us anything about your technique and creating process? 

I love shooting with natural light and all the dramatic effects it can create. As a rule of thumbs, I always look for angles that will create the most contrast separating my main subject from the rest of the elements in the scene; the lighting creates the highlights, shadows, and all the tonal range in-between. Tip: if you want the blue in you background to be black, then you have to expose for a very dark blue, that when turn into black and white, will result in a very dark grey and then you can lower the light only for that tone thus creating a completely black background or vice versa if your aiming for a very light background.

How are you shooting from a technical standpoint?

I use a DSLR camera, inside an Aquatica Housing. Once in the water it all starts with your exposure value for the blue. It´s interesting that there is not one single “right” exposure for the blue underwater, so if your goal is to create a white background, it´s important to expose for a very light blue. When you translate this light blue into black and white in postproduction, it will result in a very light grey. Then I use lightroom for postproduction.

In your opinion, what makes a good aquatic photography

A key element is to create a consistent series of images, with a profound sense of uniqueness in style and strong enough so that the artist´s unique voice and message will echo deep into the viewers soul, mind and imagination.

What is the main advice you would give to someone who wants to get started in the aquatic photography world?

First to learn how to be a good diver and practice until achieving a great buoyancy control.  As for the camera, to buy the best one your budget can allow, understanding that you can create amazing images with any camera, you don´t need to most expensive equipment to take inspiring images. To develop your camera technique until you fully understand it, but keeping in mind to especially develop your creativity, passion, understanding of the subjects you are photographing and a complete state of respect and love for them.

How much preparation do you put into taking photography? 

I plan my shootings and my trips looking for a specific animal living in the wild in the best possible conditions as to water visibitity, availability to be close to the animal, interesting behaviours ocurring in a particular area, etc. and try not to have any fix ideas in my mind. To be honest my main goal is to be in the presence of this amazing animals that I photograph and have any kind of connection with them, images comes second. Once Im in the water with them and enjoying their presence then I start to look around searching for beauty especially in terms of lighting. Photography is all about light, and in my opinion, it is the single most important aspect when it comes to creating appealing, inspiring and touching images. Beyond technical issues, what´s most important is how I apply and manipulate the light that´s available in order to create pictures with dramatic effect, carrying depths of emotion and using contrast and tonalities as means to emphasize form and structure of the scenery. I focus on the emotional impact of the final shot that will connect on a deeper level with the people that observe these photographs.  Just as a poet uses words to create poetry, a photographer uses light to create images. So when I’m underwater taking pictures, one of my goals is to create poetic images through the use of light.

What do you think makes a memorable image?

When beyond what the subject of that image is telling you, you are able to perceive what the photographer is trying to tell you and what he felt while taking that image. 

How do you know you got the shot you wanted?

I usually don´t have a fix idea of what image I want, I try to stay open when I go to a new place to find beauty.

Your idea of the perfect composition?

One where I can find balance, rhythm, intensity, flow and beauty.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m very busy with the launch and promotion of my new book “Silent Kingdom, a world beneath the waves” which presents a collection of my black and white underwater images published by Insight Editions. The introduction is by Dr. Sylvia Earle, and it has texts written by David Doubilet, Ernie Brooks and Michael AW and it´s available to preorder here.

 

More Stories

Boxing; Muay Thai kids by Alain Schroeder

Boxing; Muay Thai kids by Alain Schroeder

Muay Thai kids project was selected and published in our print edition 19. Far from Thailand’s iconic tourist destinations, Isaan, the kingdom’s largest region, reaches north and east to the borders of Laos and Cambodia.
Spirit of India by Jacque Rupp

Spirit of India by Jacque Rupp

India has always held a special place in my heart. My first visit was during an extremely difficult period in my life, as my husband had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. 
Fotopoesie: The backstage story of a photo book

Fotopoesie: The backstage story of a photo book

An image only makes sense if it "sees the light" and if it is seen by someone. Otherwise it would be just a visual thought. In my opinion, the best way to bring an image to life is through a book.

Call For Entries

We are looking for 6 fantastic photographers
who want to give an incredible impulse to their career.

We are going to put your photographs in front of the eyes of the directors
of the best galleries, festivals and agencies around the world.
Are you coming with us?

DEADLINE | TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN
Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

My specialty in nude photography is landscape nudes in beautiful locations. In the last year, however, I have also frequently created nude portraits with my models in my photo studio.
A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A Virtual Summer project was selected and published in our print edition 19. A story about a girl being stuck at home pretending to be on the beach.
Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

It was around 1'O clock when grief crept in with the chilly winds of the Ganges caressing my face. Witnessing death of a near relative isn't always easy to handle.

Featured Stories

Portrait of the Aryans by Abhishek Nandy

Portrait of the Aryans by Abhishek Nandy

Beyond the rich heritage of monasteries, the spirit of Buddhism, the captivating Landscapes and the Indus, one specific facet of Ladakh which has always fascinated me is the legendary inhabitation of pure-blooded Aryans in this parts of the region.
Anja Matko ; String of life and other works

Anja Matko ; String of life and other works

Inspiration for this series she got from her own life and situations that was in at that moment. This series is about life, searching for the right path in your life, the obstacles you have to overcome to reach your goal.
Michal Baran ; Beauty & Fashion Photography

Michal Baran ; Beauty & Fashion Photography

Michał Baran was born and raised in Poland, graduating in computer science, he worked as a web-master, graphic designer and developer, but his greatest passion has always been photography. 
Being a child in a mundari camp by Elena Molina

Being a child in a mundari camp by Elena Molina

This project was selected and published in our print edition 19. Being a child in a Mundari camp is synonymous with working tirelessly from dawn to dusk. From their earliest age, they actively participate in the care of their livestock
Mobile Photography by Star Rush

Mobile Photography by Star Rush

Star Rush is a Vietnamese American documentary and street photographer and writer, and an an advocate of mobile photography.
Waiting Girls by Sadegh Souri

Waiting Girls by Sadegh Souri

In Iran, death penalty is given to the children for the crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, and armed robbery. According to the Islamic Penal Law, the age when girls are held accountable for their crimes is 9 years old, while the international conventions have banned the death penalty for individuals under 18.
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Mono-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Monochromatic Awards. We are eager to see photograhs with new focus points and innovative approaches

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/banner.jpg

The book where words and images meet to never leave each other, The book contains 20 evocative paintings; each of them is a double page. 56 printed pages | 235x165mm

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/call21.jpg

Call For Entries #21 | After 20 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Landscape photography by Jeroen Lagerwerf

Landscape photography by Jeroen Lagerwerf

Because of my short career as photographer, my portfolio is mainly practice material and shot close to my home. Finding the beauty in things you see every day, requires me to see things in a different perspective and develop myself.
The corsair project by Samuka Marinho

The corsair project by Samuka Marinho

This is a personal project developed by photographer Samuka Marinho as an original portfolio presentation. It is composed of over 400 images and has taken around a year and a half to be completed.
Stages of our lives; SOMA by Saman Deilamani

Stages of our lives; SOMA by Saman Deilamani

The form, constructed settings and the process all aim to create a sculptural parallel that represent the lived body. It is at their intersection that the desire for the ideals of nude photography collide with the the profaneness of flesh.
Hidden Landscape by Stefan Schlumpf

Hidden Landscape by Stefan Schlumpf

Grey, melted snow and ice runs like silent tears. Crumbling, ancient ice crunches. Tired from the fight against the warmth, the glaciers take flight, fleeing from human ignorance.
Transylvanian shepherds by Kerekes Istvan

Transylvanian shepherds by Kerekes Istvan

The region of Transylvania is known for the scenery of its Carpathian landscape and its rich history. The Western world commonly associates Transylvania with vampires because of the influence of Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula" and the many films the tale inspired.
Points of the compass by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

Points of the compass by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

Examining life by over-thinking all the various life paths in front of you will always present a scary picture. In this journey over the last few years of your life, you might have been trying to figure out which path to go on.

Monochromatic Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the monochromatic awards. We are looking
for the best monochrome picture for this year, 2022.

The contest is open to any interpretation of monochromatic photography,
black and white, grayscale, sepia or any type of tone.

DEADLINE | THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022

PHOTO BY © SVETLIN YOSIFOV

Trending Stories

Fertility by Ani Zur

Fertility by Ani Zur

In 'Fertility' series the author turns to mythology and daily graft of ancient women in Slavic culture to reconsider the role of a woman in the modern society.
Surfing ; Wipe Out by Iván Cáceres

Surfing ; Wipe Out by Iván Cáceres

Surfing is a practice that goes beyond slipping skillfully on wave crests. Those who dedicate themselves completely to this sport know that there is a ritual around surfing: studying the weather forecast, getting up early and observing the waves with eyes still half closed by sleep
Symphony by Matthieu Colnat

Symphony by Matthieu Colnat

How to photograph music? That was the first question I asked myself before I started to work on this series. I never was so much of a dance enthousiast but I have always been intrigued and attracted by classic dancers.
Five minutes with Gennadiy Chernomashintsev

Five minutes with Gennadiy Chernomashintsev

Gennadiy Chernomashintsev was born on the 23 July 1968 in Donetsk (USSR) now Ukraine.When he was a child, didn’t ever think about photography.
Antonie by Liliana Pham

Antonie by Liliana Pham

I have been a model since 2009. I’ve done it for more than 7 years. It was my hobby and I was building a network of contacts that have been useful for the field that I studied, which was Fashion design.
Interview with Nicky Hamilton; Published in our print edition #04

Interview with Nicky Hamilton; Published in our print edition #04

Honestly I was blown away by the print edition, the quality of the work throughout and the production of the printed article where so good.
Kristina Shkileva; Na rayone (In the commuter town)

Kristina Shkileva; Na rayone (In the commuter town)

People used to return from the business center to a residential area to spend the night and go back to work. Therefore, the area is called the sleeping community.
Songs of the past by Sasha Velichko

Songs of the past by Sasha Velichko

The North of Russia abounds with history, folklore and mythology. Seclusion of these lands from the central regions had a substancial impact on how people save and cherish their artistic and folk heritage from the old days.
Still Life Part VII Shadows by  Stefania Piccioni

Still Life Part VII Shadows by Stefania Piccioni

In the study of history of photography it’s easy to see how light is fundamental, in fact photographers of every ages have been able to create atmospheres, communicate sensations and show the movement of surfaces through more or less intense contrasts of lights and shadows.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.